With research proving that the popular refrigerant is causing a depletion of the ozone layer in our atmosphere, we began to phase it out of the market back in 2010. Restrictions were made on its production and importation as early as 2010. The only allowed use of R22 was in maintenance of already existing appliances that made use of it. Fast forward to 2015 tougher restrictions were implemented by the Federal Government, thereby reducing its use even further. And by 2020, the use of R22 will be banned completely, much the same as was the case with R12.
With this in mind, it is time to think of the R22 alternatives that you should consider using as a refrigerant. Herein we will explore some of the refrigerants that the EPA has listed as safe, legal, and fit for use and find out the bluon energy review.
#1. R-438A (Chemour’s MO99) – This is one of the most popular R22 replacements on the market owing to what it offers homeowners and business owners. For starters, the MO99 is almost a drop-in replacement for the R22. The MO99 is designed to have properties close to R22, there almost matching R22’s efficiency and capacity. This makes the MO99 a stellar alternative if you do not fancy conducting extensive retrofits to your HVAC system. Furthermore, it is highly compatible with the standard lubricants already in use today, older or newer ones. However, the most important aspect that has made the MO99 very popular is its safety record. It is quite safe as it does not contain any hydrocarbons; it is an HFC refrigerant.
#2. R410A – Another superior alternative to R22 is R410A. Not only is it safe to use with regard to environmental protection, it also yields much better efficiency than R22 does. The improved efficiency comes about due to its higher pressure and better refrigeration capacity. As such, it has become one of the best alternatives for R22 since homeowners and business owners also get better performance.
That being said, it is important to note that R410A is not a drop in alternative to R22. Since it has higher pressure than the R22, it requires an entirely new manifold pressure gauge. It also requires very precise procedures to be followed to ensure safety is maintained.
#3. R-404A -This is another widely accepted Freon alternative. For starters, it does not affect the ozone layer; it has a Zero Ozone Depletion Potential. Furthermore, it is odorless and non-flammable Nonetheless, its makeup is quite similar to R22. It, however, can produce better performance than R22 in some instances.
It is used in applications with a temperature range of -45 & 15 degrees Celsius or -49 & 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to this property, it is widely used in commercial applications.
#4. R-407C – This refrigerant is perfect for homeowners and business owners who do not want to conduct extensive retrofits to their equipment. It is a hydrofluorocarbon mixture of pentafluoroethane, difluoromethane, and 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane which gives R-407C has thermodynamic properties similar to what R2 has.
In terms of popularity, it is widely accepted and used. For instance, it is used in packaged air conditioners and in direct expansions systems that as commonly used in industries. It is also widely available for purchase; you can purchase it from websites such as Amazon, and from gas and refrigerant suppliers. On the safety front, it has an Ozone Depletion Potential of zero, much like the R-404A, a factor that has made it very popular and widely used alternative for R22.
#5. R134A – Also known as Norflurane, this refrigerant is essentially a haloalkane substance that has thermodynamic properties. It made of a single component, which is not the norm with regards to R22 alternatives. And since it only has one component, it does not require separate machines as required by the EPA, making it quite popular with Freon replacements in cars.
Furthermore, replacing R22 with R134A is quite simple. Nonetheless, all the procedures should follow the laid-out guidelines to avoid any hazards occurring. For instance, when replacing Freon with R134A, it is critical to ensure that no Freon is left behind to negate the possibility of cross-contamination. Cross contamination has a negative effect on the efficiency of the system as well as cause system failure.
One demerit of using R134A is that you will have to use a special fabrication blend of polyalkene and polyester. Furthermore, the R134A refrigerant has been only been found to have insignificant effects on the ozone layer, meaning it still does have some effect, though negligible.
Having looked at arguably the best R-22 Freon refrigerant alternatives, it is important to also acquaint yourself with the guidelines regarding replacing Freon with the alternatives. It is not just a matter of swapping Freon for a more environmentally friendly alternative. The process should be hinged on the recommended guidelines. These include:
– You use the recommended alternatives. The EPA has published a list of refrigerants (www.epa.gov/ozone) that you can use as alternatives for the R22 that is being phased out. As such, you need to make sure that the alternative refrigerant you intend to use is compatible with the application in question.
– The EPA also maintains that you cannot use R22 alternatives as “drop-in” alternatives. You need to make modifications in the system to allow smooth running of the system.
– The EPA also advises homeowners and business owners to ensure that the personnel conducting the system conversion are well-trained in matters regarding the installation and maintenance of the system.
However, there are other considerations you should make when choosing an alternative to R22. For instance, from an economic stand point, you need to consider the cost of new equipment associated with making the conversion, cost of the alternative refrigerant, and its availability in your locality. Furthermore, after the conversion, you need to ensure that the personnel handling the conversion do not release the R22 in the atmosphere. It is against the law and you might be held liable in the case of an intentional release.